Hindmarsh Island Royal Commission

The Hindmarsh Island Royal Commission was a legal investigation into the nature of female aboriginal religious myths that existed around Goolwa and Hindmarsh Island in South Australia. It was a product of the Hindmarsh Island bridge controversy.

In May 1995, the South Australian media carried reports that the 'secret women's business' had been fabricated. Five Ngarrindjeri women reportedly said that they did not believe in or had never heard of the 'secret women's business' until it had been raised by Doreen Kartinyeri. In June 1995 there were further allegations that two prominent members of the Ngarrindjeri community – Doug and Sarah Milera – had confirmed the allegations of fabrication.

In response, the South Australian Government established a Royal Commission on 16 June 1995. A former South Australian District Court judge, Mrs Iris Stevens, was appointed as Royal Commissioner. In brief, the Royal Commissioner was appointed to inquire into and report on whether any aspect of the 'women's business' was a fabrication and, if so, how the fabrication occurred, its extent and purpose.

Controversy plagued the work of the Royal Commission. The 'proponent women' refused to give evidence to the Commission; 'dissident' Ngarrindjeri women claimed threats and intimidation; Ngarrindjeri elder, Doug Milera reportedly withdrew his allegations that the 'secret women's business' had been fabricated; amateur historian, Betty Fisher, told the Commission she had first been told of the 'secret women's business' in 1960; and anthropologists from the South Australian Museum disputed the existence of the 'secret women's business'.

The Royal Commission's report was published in December 1995. Its major findings were:

  • the '... 'women's business' emerged in response to a need of the anti-bridge lobby to provide something of sufficient cultural significance to warrant the making of a declaration by the Federal Minister';
  • the 'women's business' was unknown to the twelve dissident Ngarrindjeri women who gave evidence before the Commission and who were described by the Royal Commissioner as 'credible witnesses';
  • looking at 'the whole of the evidence, including the history of events, the anthropological evidence and the evidence of the dissident women, ... the whole claim of the "women's business" from its inception was a fabrication;
  • the purpose of the fabrication was obtain a declaration prohibiting the construction of the Hindmarsh Island Bridge under the Commonwealth's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984.

Other articles related to "islands, island, royal":

Natural Vs Artificial Islands
... Most of the Earth's islands are natural and have been formed by tectonic forces or volcanic eruptions ... However, there are also artificial or man-made islands ... An example of an artificial island is an island in Osaka Bay off the Japanese island of Honshu, on which Kansai International Airport is located ...
Hispaniola
... (Spanish La Española Haitian Creole Ispayola) is a major island in the Caribbean, containing the two sovereign states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti ... The island is located between the islands of Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east, within the hurricane belt ... It is the ninth-most-populous island in the world, and the most populous in the Americas ...
County Fermanagh - Industry and Tourism
... The main town of Fermanagh is Enniskillen (Inis Ceithleann, 'Ceithleann's island') ... The island town hosts a range of attractions including the Castle Coole Estate and Enniskillen Castle, which is home to the museum of The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards ... include Belleek Pottery Castle Archdale Crom Estate Devenish Island Florence Court Lough Navar Forest Park Marble Arch Caves ...
County Mayo - Places of Interest
... Achill Island Ashford Castle Ballindine Ballintubber Abbey Blacksod Lighthouse Broadhaven Bay Burrishoole Abbey Céide Fields Clare Island Clew Bay Croagh Patrick Eagle Island lighthouse ...

Famous quotes containing the words commission, royal and/or island:

    Children cannot eat rhetoric and they cannot be sheltered by commissions. I don’t want to see another commission that studies the needs of kids. We need to help them.
    Marian Wright Edelman (20th century)

    The Royal Navy of England hath ever been its greatest defence and ornament; it is its ancient and natural strength; the floating bulwark of the island.
    William Blackstone (1723–1780)

    Beyond this island bound
    By a thin sea of flesh
    And a bone coast ...
    Dylan Thomas (1914–1953)